The 4-day work week is the headline, but I suspect the main productivity gains came from halving meeting times to 30 mins, limiting attendees to 5 people (with single representatives for each team), and encouraging chat for collaboration:
"Microsoft Japan Says 4-Day Workweek Boosted Workers' Productivity By 40%" https://n.pr/2qqT8m3
@email@example.com Yes, it might be closer to “we tried telecommuting one day a week.” Based on what 37Signals and others have written, if people enjoy their jobs and have flexible remote working schedules they can optimize their work time. They’ll probably at least work with on their projects in their heads when not in the office.
It depends a lot though on the type of work people are doing. They didn’t try it with a McDonald’s restaurant, a factory or a construction site.
Other things to note:
"special paid leave" - was this full pay? When I worked at Delphi, they did some "temporary layoffs" where we were kept on the payroll at half pay, but not allowed to come into work.
"collaborative chat channels" - probably Microsoft Teams, which kind of sucks, but listing it as a productivity boost would help Microsoft sell it.
Another interesting statement was, "Younger people actually choose work flexibility over health care coverage, even though that expense in America is pretty high," Schawbel says.
The conclusion is specious. Typically young people don't have much health care costs, especially when they don't have dependents.